Journalists Murdered For Their Trade Nearly Doubles In 2018, Report Says

Grace Carr | Reporter
  • The number of journalists killed worldwide in connection to their work has almost doubled between 2017 and 2018, according to a Wednesday report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
  • Most of the journalists killed were political reporters who were investigating the government, crime or corruption, and were murdered by political groups.
  • The total number of journalists killed in 2018 has not risen greatly from those killed in 2017 and 2016, according to the report. 

The number of journalists murdered worldwide in retaliation for their work nearly doubled in 2018 from the previous year, according to a Wednesday report.

Thirty-four journalists were killed in retaliation for their work, while 53 total journalists were killed in 2018 across the globe, according to a Wednesday report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The numbers reflect a near 50 percent increase from the 18 retaliation killings and 48 total journalist deaths in 2017, The AP reported Wednesday.

CPJ reports journalist retaliation murders, journalists killed in combat or crossfire, and journalists killed on dangerous assignments.

The total number of journalist deaths has remained relatively steady. Forty-seven journalists were killed in 2017, and 50 journalists were killed 2016, according to CPJ.

At least 251 journalists have been thrown in jail for their work in 2018, according to a CPJ Dec. 13 report. Almost all of these journalists are locals in their home countries who’ve been imprisoned by their own governments, the report indicates. Since 2015, Turkey, China and Egypt have jailed the most journalists, imprisoning nearly half of journalists jailed world-wide.

Turkey remains the worst offender, CPJ reported.

Politics is the most dangerous topic to cover for journalists in 2018, with broadcast journalists most likely to be killed, according to CPJ’s report. Political groups perpetrated a majority of journalist murders in 2018, the report indicates. (RELATED: Fact Check: Does Russia Kill Journalists ‘Every Day?’)

Afghanistan is 2018’s deadliest country for journalists. Thirteen journalists were murdered for their work in the country in 2018, according to CPJ’s report, and 48 journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since 1992.

Reporters Without Borders (RWB) tallies an even higher number of journalists murdered for their trade in 2018. Eighty journalists, including media reporters and non-professional journalists, were killed worldwide in 2018, according to RWB’s annual report. Sixty-three professional journalists were killed, and 49 of those deaths were targeted murders, according to the report.

Afghanistan and Syria rank as the deadliest countries for journalists in 2018, followed by Mexico, Yemen, India and the U.S., according to the report.

The U.S. saw an unusually high number of journalist deaths in 2018. The June 28 shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom is the most deadly mass shooting with journalist deaths in the U.S. to date. Gunman Jarrod Ramos shot and killed four journalists and one Capital Gazette employee.

“This year the US became the fourth deadliest country in the world alongside Mexico because of the unprecedented murder of journalists and editorial staff by a lone gunman at the Capital Gazette newspaper,” CPJ told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email Wednesday.

Only five U.S. journalists were killed between 2000 and 2017 in connection to their work, according to CPJ records. “The killing of journalists is in the United States in direct relation to their work is thankfully rare,” CPJ told TheDCNF.

Six U.S. journalists were killed in 2018, according to RWB’s report. The report, however, includes two journalists who were killed by a falling tree in North Carolina.

WATCH:

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) reported that at least 60 journalists were killed in 2018. Most were targeted and murdered for their work, according to an IFJ official, The DCNF reported in October.

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. The CIA determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder, according to the Post. (RELATED: Senate Passes Resolution Condemning Saudi Crown Prince For Khashoggi Murder)

Khashoggi frequently criticized bin Salman and Saudi Arabia in his writings.

The White House has refused to condemn the crown prince for Khashoggi’s murder in an apparent effort to preserve positive relations with Saudi Arabia.

Double suicide bombers killed nine journalists on April 30. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The double suicide bombings in Afghanistan … demonstrate just how ruthless the Taliban are in wanting to dominate and intimidate independent media,” CPJ told TheDCNF.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ján Kuciak and his fiancée were murdered in February. Kuciak was investigating corruption in Slovakia at the time. “Journalists investigating the nexus between organized crime and government,” face grave danger, CPJ told TheDCNF.

“Reporters, particularly freelancers who lack access to the safety resources of a big news organization, are especially vulnerable,” CPJ told TheDCNF, noting that reporters can “mitigate risk [by] work[ing] in teams.”

CPJ is still investigating the killings of over 20 journalists in 2018.

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